For a costume that remained virtually unchanged for over 70 years, Superman getting his third redesign since 2011. There was a “softening” of the look back in early 2015, which John Romita Jr. had a hand in, followed by the initial “Rebirth” redesign by Jim Lee and Tom Derenick in 2016, whose most notable feature was the blue (as opposed to red) boots, and which first got rid of the awkward high collar of the initial New 52 costume.
The conclusion of the “Superman Reborn” storyline in the pages of Superman and Action Comics will lead to the debut of a brand new costume in April. And by “brand new” we mean one that should make classic fans pretty happy. The biggest, most obvious change is that the blue boots that have been an identifying feature of the DC Rebirth Superman for the last few months are replaced with the classic red versions, which make the whole outfit hang together much better, and a bit less like footy pajamas.
Other than that, we’re getting a less awkward belt (with its pentagonal buckle that mirrors the chest shield reminiscent of the Superman Returns costume). I still don’t understand what the resistance to making the whole belt gold is, as it breaks up the red/blue better, but this is a reasonable compromise.
If anything, I’m a little disappointed that it loses the “gauntlets” which mirrored the look of the movie costume of Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice fame. I always felt this helped drive home the concept that this is some kind of Kryptonian ceremonial garb and gives things a retro, almost Flash Gordon vibe. The idea that the suit (and S) were Kryptonian in nature was first introduced in 1978’s Superman: The Movie, and I like seeing that emphasized in the comics these days.
They’re still sticking with the “classic” S shield, rather than the slightly more stylized New 52 version. I rather liked the new S, myself, and I’m surprised that if they were going to make a change that they didn’t go with the version seen in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, which may just be my favorite version of the logo ever. That version manages to look like a throwback to the Earth-2 Superman logo and the alien “symbol of hope” it’s supposed to be in the movies.
And no, the red underpants are never coming back. Both DC and Warner Bros. had been trying to figure out a way to get rid of those for at least a decade before the New 52, so this is as close as we’re going to get to the familiar look. But the overall effect here is something that will probably (finally) stand the test of time. I think everyone, even the purists, will be happy with this one.
Check it out, courtesy of Comicbook.com.
You’ll get the new Superman costume in the pages of Superman #20 by Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, and Mick Cray. It goes on sale on April 5th.